Black Hat SEO Techniques that Your Business Needs to Avoid
Over recent years, the importance of SEO or Search Engine Optimization has become increasingly important. In order to ensure that your site enjoys a healthy ranking on search engines such as Google, you need to make sure that it is properly optimized. However, you also need to be mindful about black hat SEO techniques, which are techniques that are frowned upon by search engines and for which your site could end up getting penalized. This, in turn, can impact visitor numbers, visibility of your site, and ultimately your bottom line.
Over recent years there have been a lot of changes when it comes to SEO, and this includes Google laying down strict rules when it comes to using methods such as keyword stuffing in a bid to try and get rankings up. Many people end up using black hat SEO without even realizing that they have done so – until, of course, they end up facing the wrath of Google and other search engines for failing to adhere to Webmaster Guidelines.
Many of the techniques that are considered ‘black hat’ today were once commonly and legitimately used in the creation of business websites. However, over time Google and other search engines realized the damaging effect they were having when it came to quality, relevance, and user experience. With this in mind, the rules regarding SEO have become far tougher over recent years, which is why businesses need to be extremely cautious with regards to the SEO tactics they use.
Some of the practices you need to avoid with your business website
There are many businesses that have either purposely or unwittingly used black hat practices when it comes to their websites. However, in order to avoid huge problems in the future, it is vital that white hat SEO is used so that the site is optimized for people rather than for search engines. This is what the search engine giants want to see these days and failure to comply can result in serious issues for your business. Website visitors do not want to find themselves being subjected to keyword stuffed content and other black hat practices.
Some of the black hat techniques that are employed by various websites include:
Keyword stuffing of content and/or alt image tags: This is where businesses try to gain an unfair advantage in terms of website rankings by overloading meta-tags and content with keywords. However, this is deeply frowned upon by search engines and means that visitors end up being confronted by low-quality content that is more focused on gaining a higher ranking than providing useful, relevant information.
Product review links that pass page rank: This is where you accept a ‘free’ product and in return, you write about the product and post a link on your site. However, Google considers this practice to be a link scheme, so it also falls under the category of black hat techniques.
Over optimizing internal, inbound and outbound links: Some websites focus on using keyword rich anchor text in the links that are within the content on the site. However, this could cause problems with search engines. Your links should use language that is natural and relevant to your website visitors instead of keyword focused for higher rankings.
The use of doorway pages: Doorway pages are those that have a sole purpose of ranking for a specific keyword and direct website visitors to another page. These pages generally offer no useful information or content to visitors and can result in pages that provide no benefit to consumers taking up top rankings for the keyword in question.
The use of invisible keywords on the same color background: Some businesses use the sneaky tactic of invisible text, which is where keywords are added to pages in the same color as the page’s background. This makes them ‘invisible’ because they cannot be seen due to being an exact color match.
Spinning articles: There are various tools and resources online that enable you to spin content that already exists. However, the end result of spun content is very poor, which means that you not only end up with useless, badly written content but you also risk getting into trouble for having duplicate content on your site.
While these methods may work in the short-term, they could actually do a lot of damage in the long run, as it won’t take long for search engines to pick up on the techniques that are being used. The penalties imposed by companies such as Google can be harsh and could have a long-lasting negative effect on your website and your business.
How a professional can help
When you are creating a new website for your business or even altering an existing one, it is well worth getting professionals on board to help. Using professional website designs and web content creators can work wonders in terms of ensuring that your business website looks great and does not deploy black hat SEO techniques. While there is an initial investment involved to bring professionals such as this on board, it can save you and your business a lot of time, hassle, and money in the long run so the upfront investment is well worth it.
Professional website and content creators will be able to work with you and your marketing team in order to create a site that looks good, has the right web design elements, provides value to your visitors, and will not end up on the receiving end of search engine penalties. This means far greater peace of mind for business owners and managers and a far more satisfying browsing experience for consumers.
There are many white hat marketing techniques that can have a huge impact on the popularity of your website and the overall success of your business. A reputable and experienced professional will know exactly which of these techniques to use based on your goals, the nature of your business, and your target audience.